NTMI: Good evening, everyone, we're here with Soggydude, author of several stories and series, who has taken a brief time out from his busy evening schedule to be with us. Welcome, Soggydude!
Soggydude: Glad to be here! (I feel like a guest on a TV show :-P)
NTMI: (laughs) This *is* an interview! So tell me, soggydude, how did you find Neopets?
Soggydude: I love it! I'm on every day, surfing around, checking the news, taking care of my pets, going to my guild, etc. etc.
NTMI: What first got you started on them?
Soggydude: Well....my sister was on it. During the end of summer, I saw her and her friend playing, and I got interested. I signed up, figuring I might as well try it. I got hooked, while my sister left shortly after that :-P
NTMI: That seems to be a common story- a friend gets you hooked, then they leave... makes you wonder what they know that we don't... maybe if we're lucky we won't find out!
NTMI: When you signed up, what prompted you to use the name of Soggydude?
Soggydude: Well, I took this username because...all the others were taken! I tried making others, but everything was unavailable, and I wanted an original name, no numbers. I typed in soggydude, not expecting it to work. I was surprised when I was moved on
NTMI: So it was a matter of typing in anything that popped into your mind at the time?
Soggydude: Yeah, but I wanted a name that I wouldn't mind keeping.
NTMI: A very wise decision! So how did you find the Neopian Times, and what gave you the idea of contributing to it?
Soggydude: I found it by being on Neopets! I did send in a story called "The Story of the Deckswabber," which is my story of why that Blumaroo is swabbing the decks. Now that I look at it, it could have used tons of improvement.
NTMI: I notice that you didn't seem to try again for some time after that, before submitting the " of Grarrls and Diamonds" series. Why the delay?
Soggydude: Well, I confess I got bored of Neopets :-( There was nothing to do. Around December, I stopped logging on often, and barely came around. One day, I was randomly coming on for a few minutes, and I saw the Neopian Times again. I figured might as well send something, so I did. I also joined the Cougar Canyon guild. Those two things made me want to stay
NTMI: So what is your favorite thing about Neopets?
Soggydude: I really don't have a favorite. I think I'm one of those people who likes everything about something that interests them, if you know what I mean
NTMI: What about writing itself. Do you have a favorite topic, or type of piece, that you like to write?
Soggydude: I like to write about things that interest me. If you tell me "Write about this, it has to have this and this," I won't do well. But on my own, I can enjoy myself. As you know, I write mysteries and adventures, about my three pets, because those are the things I like
NTMI: Where do you get ideas for new stories?
Soggydude: Well, sometimes I just think them up. Other times I get an idea from a book I read or a TV show. For example, my story "Sheriff for a Day" was inspired from a cartoon I watched
NTMI: Once you get the idea, how long does it take to write a story?
Soggydude: Sometimes it can take up to a week, other times an hour. Series take longer because I make sure everything is okay. Sometimes I have to delete tons of things to put in a new concept that will make sense or enlighten the story. One weird thing about me is that when I start a story, I can write up just one or two paragraphs, and then I won't write anymore. Then a few days later, I sit down and write like mad
NTMI: So it just all depends! How about advice for others... what would you tell someone trying to get published in the Times?
Soggydude: DON'T, I repeat, DON'T write about the familiar things such as sad adoption stories or a pet wanting to be painted because they are not popular at school, or anything used over and over and over again. This makes the NT boring to read. Come up with your own idea, or try to get one from something such as a book or TV (Not that I'm saying watch TV 24/7, just one show should do) Also, try editing. I've seen stories that are not edited, and they can confuse me at times, with 'new' meaning 'knew' for example. Keep working on the story, go over it many times to make sure it all fits together. Save it on disk like I do so you can see how your writing has evolved, if you plan to keep on writing. Read articles published by authors, for they usually have tips to improve. Even I still read them. Neomail them if they haven't made one, and just keep on writing. If your story isn't accepted in two weeks, see if anything should be changed and then send it in again!
NTMI: Speaking of neomailing authors... what sort of feedback do you usually get from your work?
Soggydude: I get positive, I have yet to get a hate mail. But then again, I'm not too famous yet. I also get the usual begging for money/items and once I got a request from someone asking me to make a story about Sheriff and send it to them
NTMI: What was the purpose supposed to be in that?
Soggydude: I don't know
NTMI: No one said it had to make sense, did they... so are there any negatives to being an author in the Times?
Soggydude: The bad feeling that people won't like the story I sent in. I always have that feeling for some reason. But other than that...no
NTMI: Have you gotten anything else published on Neopets?
Soggydude: Um...a caption in the competition that didn't win, lol. That's about it. I'm still trying the story telling competition and the caption, but no luck
NTMI: How about anything outside of Neopets?
Soggydude: No, although I have written a few stories for fun
NTMI: What goals do you have for your writing, both on and off Neopets?
Soggydude: I plan to keep on writing for Neopets as long as I can. Off it though....I really don't know if I could write a book, but maybe a short story in magazine is possible, although there are not a lot of magazines these days that I know of that would publish fiction stories. But who knows?
NTMI: That's where http://www.marketlist.com/ comes in handy! Well, that covers all of the questions I had. Did you have anything else you wanted to add?
Soggydude: Yes. I want to say thanks to anyone who wanted me interviewed. I'd also like to say to people who copied stories from previous issues and sent them in again....get a life! Anyway, thanks for taking the time to interview me
NTMI: And thank you for taking the time to be interviewed! Now I think both of us need to get some supper, so bye till next time ;-)
Soggydude: Bye! And good bye to whoever is reading this!
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